Open and Affordable Textbooks Project
The Student Public Interest Research Groups (PIRGs) have been working on the problem of textbook affordability for college students. Open Educational Resources (OER)learning materials, distributed openly for either no or minimal cost, may have begun to result in a credible, viable infrastructure for Open Textbooks that mainstream faculty would accept.
The Student PIRGs have launched a two-year campaign (MakeTextbooksAffordable.org) to drive mainstream faculty's acceptance of Open Textbooks in place of traditional textbooks. The goal of the campaign is to raise faculty awareness of the issue, and encourage faculty to sign a public statement of support. The Student PIRGs believe that such a network would encourage development and distribution of OER in wider circles of the academic community.
CSHE has been awarded a grant from Student PIRG to conduct an independent and objective analysis of the campaign. Our research questions include: Did the Student PIRG campaign have an effect on faculty behavior and/or attitudes regarding Open Textbooks? If so, how? And if not, why not? In 2009, we will investigate these questions through focus groups and an online survey of faculty members who have been invited to sign the statement of support.
This project is under the direction of Principal Investigator Diane Harley, Ph.D.